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Telstar - The Best Of

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Album Review

The Tornados' Telstar EP was a straightforward package of both sides of their first two singles. "Telstar" itself, of course, was the highlight, and as it was one of the most successful and best instrumentals of the early 1960s, none of the other three tracks had a chance of matching it. As Tornados tracks/Joe Meek productions go, however, they were pretty good. The A-side of their debut single, "Love and Fury," had plenty of the clavioline, penetrating guitar-organ blend, and ghostly wordless vocals typical of much of the Tornados' best output. "Popeye Twist," meanwhile, was catchy in a frivolous sort of way, while "Jungle Fever" had some really odd gargling sounds and rhythms that, in tandem with that clavioline and spectral wordless hum-vocals, made for a combination that in retrospect was pretty far-out for an early-'60s record. The EP was a pretty big success in the U.K., too, reaching number four on the EP charts. All four of the tracks have been reissued on CD, but if you want a facsimile of the original EP with original artwork and liner notes, it's one of the dozen EP-CDs contained in the 2007 box set Joe Meek: The EP Collection.

Biography

Formed: 1961

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s

One of the saddest stories in rock & roll history surrounds the Tornados, an instrumental group from Britain. Although there were other groups with the same name (see listing for their American surf-band counterparts), this batch of Tornados were the creation of British producer Joe Meek. Meek was England's first independent producer, being equal parts Thomas Edison, Phil Spector, and Ed Wood. An inveterate tinkerer, he designed his own compression units and microphone pre-amps, giving his productions...
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Telstar - The Best Of, The Tornados
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